December 2008 Archives

Top 10 Political Ed Moments of 2008

Education may have been lower than saving the giant African bat on the national political stage during the presidential election, but Alyson and I still managed to cobble together a list of the Top 10 education political moments of 2008: 10. Portfolio-gate -- the shortest lived "-gate" in history. 9. John McCain calls running mate Sarah Palin a national expert on autism, even though her son, Trig, has a different developmental disability. (To be fair, some folks suggested he was referring to her nephew, who does have autism.) 8. The AFT's Randi Weingarten gets "really pissed" at Democrats for Education ...


Caroline Kennedy and NCLB

If appointed to the Senate, Caroline Kennedy has said she would like to be involved in the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, which her uncle, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, helped to champion, according to a story that ran this weekend in the New York Times. In case you hadn't heard, Kennedy is hoping to take over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's seat, if, as expected, Clinton becomes President-elect Obama's Secretary of State. In their story, The Times reporters who interviewed her seem to think that she dodged questions about teacher tenure and merit pay, but reading over the ...


A Holiday Stocking Stuffer of Posts and Good Reads

Consider this an e-stocking stuffer from those of us at Campaign K-12, who pass along the following good tidbits to tide you over during the holiday season: Much has been made of a split among Democrats on education policy, but is there a schism on the right, too? Ponder this at Flypaper. A member of Obama's agency review team on education tells a higher education publication that Linda Darling-Hammond, if she wants to, will either have a key role in the White House or in the Ed Department. Will Obama's stimulus package mean tidings of good cheer for schools? Maybe, ...


Reality Check for Obama, Duncan, and other Ed Reformers

Not to throw cold water on the education secretary naming party, but did anyone else see that yesterday—while Obama was talking up the benefits of a longer school day and teacher quality during the Arne Duncan announcement—the governor of Alabama was taking steps to cut K-12 education funding by 9 percent? NINE PERCENT! That cut ranks as the biggest Alabama's seen in public school funding in half a century, and surely it's the most severe the country has seen this year. Alabama is only the most recent example of a state so deep in deficit that its governor ...


NCLB's Most Vocal Foe to Leave Congress

Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan reportedly won't run for re-election in 2010. Apparently, the Republican is mulling a run for governor of the Wolverine State. Hoekstra has long been one of the most vocal opponents on the House Education and Labor Committee—and in Congress—of the No Child Left Behind Act's expansion of federal power over public schools. Last year, he introduced a bill that would have permitted states to opt out of NCLB's accountability requirements and managed to get more than 60 co-sponsors, including the incoming Republican whip, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia. Looks like the scale-back-the-federal-role crowd will...


Chat Today About Arne Duncan

Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute and Rick Kahlenberg, an author and a senior fellow at Education Sector, will be discussing Obama's education secretary pick.


Arne Duncan Out From Under Mayor Daley's Thumb?

Chicago education activists share their thoughts on Arne Duncan. Small schools advocate Michael Klonsky, for one, thinks Duncan's been "liberated" by Obama.


Duncan Is Official: Now What?

Just a few minutes ago, President-elect Obama officially tapped Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Arne Duncan as the next education secretary. In listening to his remarks, it's clear that Obama wants a no-excuses leader who isn't afraid to make tough choices to increase student achievement. Obama, as part of his announcement today in Chicago, touted Duncan's on-the-ground experience making those tough decisions: When faced with tough decisions, Arne doesn’t blink. He’s not beholden to any one ideology – and he doesn’t hesitate for one minute to do what needs to be done. He’s worked tirelessly to improve teacher ...


Michelle Rhee on Arne Duncan

Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Rhee says an urban superintendent is a good pick for the job.


What Chicago Is Saying About Arne

The Chicago-area media, bloggers, and educators may know Arne Duncan best, and here's what they're saying.


Arne Duncan, In His Own Words

In this video, Obama's new ed. sec. talks about his mom's afterschool program, how basketball skills translate to leadership skills, and what his school reform strategy is.


First Reactions to Duncan's Pick as Ed. Sec.

Even before President-elect Obama makes Arne Duncan's selection as education secretary official, early reaction around the blogsphere is very positive.


Duncan is Obama's Education Secretary Pick

As the CEO of Chicago schools, Duncan has been supportive of the No Child Left Behind Act.


Source: Arne Duncan Is Obama's Pick for Education Secretary

We've heard from one source that Arne Duncan, the CEO of Chicago's public schools, will be announced on Tuesday as President-elect Barack Obama's pick for secretary of education. UPDATE: The New York Times has confirmed this as well....


Finally, Obama Will Say Something About Education

But will he reveal the identity of the next secretary of education? President-elect Barack Obama is holding a press conference tomorrow morning at 10:45 central time at the Dodge Renaissance Academy, a preK-8 school in Chicago. Sounds like a prime venue to announce the next secretary of education, one of the major cabinet posts he has yet to fill. Michele e-mailed an Obama spokesman to find out if it's the education secretary announcement. He said he "can't confirm" it. Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan is said to be on the short list for that position. Could going ...


Schools' Infrastructure Wish List

School administrators have identified about $11 billion in ready-to-go construction projects should Congress pass a federal stimulus package focused on infrastructure. The survey of nearly 800 administrators in 48 states, conducted by the American Association of School Administrators and released today, found that school districts also want to use one-time money for instructional materials—particularly classroom technology. Missouri and Illinois identified the most projects, at 244 and 103 respectively, while Louisiana and New Mexico didn't report any ready-to-go projects. But when and if schools will get to fulfill these wishes is another story. Congress—and governors—are working on laying ...


Sources: Bennet, Duncan Undergo Background Checks

From guest blogger David J. Hoff: Word from sources in Denver is that FBI agents are in town are starting to vet the Denver Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet, and that Bennet traveled to Washington this week. The assumption is that he’s in the running to be named secretary of education, as Jonathan Alter reported in Newsweek. And other sources who have talked to Arne Duncan say the Chicago schools CEO has talked to the Obama team about the job, even though Duncan didn't acknowledge the talks when asked about it at an event in Chicago Thursday with Secretary of ...


Darling-Hammond and Friends Defend Her Record

Last Friday, both The Washington Post and The New York Times ran editorials or op-eds criticizing Stanford education professor Linda Darling-Hammond as a possible choice for a high-level position in the Obama administration, such as Secretary of Education or even Deputy Secretary. And today there was yet another editorial in the Los Angeles Times that blasted Darling-Hammond, while urging the "accountability" camp in the Democratic party to acknowledge the short-comings of the No Child Left Behind Act. (It looks like Darling-Hammond's detractors have some high-level contacts in the opinion writing world, while Darling-Hammond's supporters are good petitioners). This week, Darling-Hammond ...


Congress May Send Obama a 2009 Education Budget

Here's some potentially good news for cash-strapped school districts: It looks like Congress is going to work on a real, honest-to-goodness budget for education in fiscal year 2009, which actually began back on Oct.1. In September, Congress passed a measure extending funding for most federal programs—including education—at fiscal year 2008 levels until March to avoid a repeat of last year's showdown with President Bush. It even looked like lawmakers were just going to pass another extension covering the rest of fiscal 2009, then get to working on the fiscal 2010 budget, which will be the first proposed...


Money for School Operating Costs Could Be in Stimulus

Cash-strapped school districts may see an infusion of federal aid in a sweeping stimulus package being crafted by Congress and President-elect Barack Obama. But it isn't clear yet whether the measure will contain dollars earmarked specifically for K-12 schools in the form of, say, more Title I or special education money, or more general aid to states that would help protect districts from massive budget cuts. Three governors—Jon Corzine of New Jersey, a Democrat; James E. Doyle of Wisconsin, a Democrat; and Jim Douglas of Vermont, Republican—testified before the House Appropriations Committee today on the need for state aid so...


Going through Bill Ayers Withdrawl?

Never fear. Last week, Bill Ayers wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times about his time with the Weather Underground. And in it, the University of Illinois, Chicago education prof reiterates claims that he wasn't a close associate of President-elect Obama's. This morning, the post's Charles Lane has a response, focusing on Ayers' unwillingness to say in the editorial that the Weather Underground's activities were politically unproductive—not to mention dangerous....


Listening in on Transition Team's Listening Tour

This morning I attended a meeting organized by the National League of Cities for education policy of staff of big city mayors. The session focused on next steps for the incoming administration and Congress, and was "on background" for reporters, meaning that I can't give names of the people who spoke. The mayoral staff heard from a representative of the Obama transition team. The group is tight-lipped about its next steps and in a "listen-only" mode for the most part when it comes to communicating with education organizations. The representative gave little indication of what the Obama administration's first moves ...


Denver Superintendent Enters Education Secretary Sweepstakes

From guest blogger David J. Hoff: Michael Bennet is the latest to have his name surface as a potential secretary of education. Jonathan Alter mentioned the Denver superintendent in his Newsweek column about Bill Gates using his philanthropic efforts to influence national and federal K-12 policy. Bennet is one of three urban superintendents who "would suit Gates and other reform-minded philanthropists just fine," Alter writes. Chicago's Arne Duncan and New Orleans' Paul Vallas are the others, but New York City's Joel Klein is an unlikely pick because of his strained relationship with AFT President Randi Weingarten, Alter says. "I have ...


Illinois Teachers' Union Says Governor Should Resign

The Illinois Education Association is calling for Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich to resign after the governor and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested this morning on corruption and bribery charges. The Democratic governor allegedly tried to benefit financially from the pending appointment of the Senate seat recently vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, according one of a number of accusations included in the FBI's 78-page indictment. Blagojevich has sole authority to select Obama's replacement. In a statement on the matter released today the teachers' union said: We are appalled by the allegations found in the complaint against Gov. Rod ...


Weingarten Wants Clinton's Senate Spot

From guest blogger David J. Hoff: AFT President Randi Weingarten wants to take Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's place in the Senate, the New York Daily News reports. She's got tough competition from a host New York pols and Caroline Kennedy. But Weingarten does have a few arguments for her candidacy. She'd be an historic pick as the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate, and she's got connections to New York Gov. David Paterson. Plus, Paterson could choose Weingarten to mollify teachers' complaints about his education budget proposals, New York suggests. Weingarten didn't deny interest in a statement ...


Transition Team Interested in Research

In our story about the transition this week, David, Michele and I mention a meeting among the Obama transition officials and some education groups, including the Learning First Alliance, which includes major education groups representing teachers, school board members, and school executives. They talked about federal spending on education and the effects of the recent economic meltdown on schools. I also heard that in that meeting the transition team was curious about what kinds of federal research projects would be useful for states and educators. In his campaign education proposal, Obama pledged to double spending on education research and development ...


Darling-Hammond On the Stimulus

So today I caught up with Linda Darling-Hammond, the Stanford education professor who is heading up President elect-Obama's education policy transition team, after she gave a speech on teacher professional development at the National Staff Development Council's conference in Maryland. Darling-Hammond was apparently not permitted to discuss the transition in any specificity, so she couldn't tell me who was being considered for Education Secretary, when that appointment would be announced, or whether she would be taking any position in the new administration. I also asked her about any forthcoming money for K-12 programs. It looks like school facilities are likely ...


Obama: Building 21st Century Schools Will Bolster Economy

This weekend, President-elect Barack Obama outlined his plan to build "21st century" schools and expand broadband access. He argues that improving school infrastructure is a win-win that can help strengthen the economy by creating jobs, while bolstering student learning and helping the U.S. stay economically competitive over the long haul. Obama didn't offer any dollar amounts or substantive details about how the plan would be structured. But Rep. George Miller, the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, may have laid some of the groundwork with a "green schools" bill he championed earlier this year. That legislation passed ...


Brooks Nominates Duncan for Secretary

From guest blogger David J. Hoff: David Brooks writes today about the fight between the self-proclaimed "reformers" against their rivals in the teachers' unions and the rest of education establishment. After fighting over policy priorities during the presidential campaign, the two sides are now trying to influence President-elect Barack Obama's choice to be secretary of education. Reformers want an aggressive change agent (think Joel I. Klein of New York City or Michelle Rhee of D.C.). The Washington Post editorial board agrees with them. Unions and others are pushing for someone whose work centers around improving the current system from ...


Duncan and Spellings Grab Coffee

And those on the Ed Sec watch read their tea-leaves. Arne Duncan, the schools chief in Chicago and President-elect Obama's informal adviser and basketball buddy, has frequently been mentioned a possible pick for Secretary of Education. He and Secretary Spellings apparently had coffee this morning. So was Secretary Spellings giving him advice? No, Duncan told the Associated Press. Apparently it was just a social call. They worked together to plan an event in Chicago next week. My guess is that the meeting between Duncan and Spellings may seem like more than what it was. If Duncan was meeting with Obama, ...


Arne Duncan, Don't Leave us Behind

Elizabeth Evans, the executive director of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, seems to be a casting a "no" vote for Arne Duncan as ed secretary. Her plea for Duncan to stay in Chicago illustrates that as Obama picks the best and brightest for his cabinet, those folks leave behind a big void that will have to be filled. On the education front, Obama's pick of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano for the homeland security cabinet post leaves one of the biggest voids so far....


Emanuel: School Construction Money Will Be in Stimulus

So it looks like school districts with crumbling infrastructures can look forward to an infusion of federal funds in the economic-stimulus package, which Congress is likely to approve in January. President-elect Barack Obama's incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, told reporters on a plane from Philadelphia to Chicago today that money for school construction will be included in the legislation, since those projects are ready-to-go and, proponents argue, would help fuel job creation in cash-strapped states, as well as improve learning environments for kids. No word yet on exactly what the school construction provisions might look like, but the House ...


UPDATED: Obama's Ed Policy Working Group

Last week, Michele and I promised you a full run-down on President-elect Barack Obama's education policy working group, which is headed up by Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor of education at Stanford. And here it is: Geri Palast: A former assistant secretary of labor under President Clinton, she now leads the New York City-based Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which successfully fought a long-running legal battle to win more money for the state’s schools. Elizabeth Green over at the Gotham Schools blog explores Palast's and Robert Gordon's service on this working group from a "Team of Rivals" point of view. Ian ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments

  • YARGI YAYINLARI: I¡¦m now not sure where you are getting your info, read more
  • stop smoking: you have an incredible blog here! would you wish to read more
  • web hosting: Campaign K-12: 'Only Bill Richardson Has a Bold Plan for read more
  • kpss: What is Taking place i am new to this, I read more
  • domy RzeszĂłw: Iˇ¦ve recently started a website, the information you offer on read more